We are in Bonaire with a toddler, together 24/7, so we always need to find appropriate activities for him. If the child is happy, the whole family can have a enjoy the holidays. Luckily, there are enough activities you can have in Bonaire with kids so that you can have a wonderful time on the island.
Here is what we suggest as if you spend your holidays in Bonaire with kids. You can also pick 1-2 of them for a one day cruise ship stop on the island.
Check also our post on things to do in Bonaire, you might find good tips there as well.
Beach time in Sorobon
Going to the beach is an easy choice on an island and there are plenty of options here. Kids love water, sand and pebbles, so any beach is great to spend time together, as a family. But Sorobon is probably the most child friendly beach I’ve ever seen. The shallow warm waters of Lac Bay are perfect for the little ones. You can walk here for minutes and the water barely goes up your waist line. The shore features fine white sand, so the tiny feet will not be disturbed in any way. Eric was scared at first about the waves, but Sorobon was the place where he got over his fear and started to enjoy the sea.
Visit the Donkey Sanctuary
I was very skeptical at first about this. I’m not an animal lover and donkeys did not seem appealing at all. But it was very fun to drive through the reservation that hosts over 600 donkeys. The animals were brought to the island a few hundred years back, when they were used in salt and lime industry. After the mechanisation, donkeys were no longer needed and were set free on the island. But this freedom was no so good in this case. The donkey population rapidly increased and the island does not offer enough resources for their survival. So the sanctuary was built to offer shelter to the donkeys and limit their reproduction.
Make sure you bring some food to offer them or buy a bunch of carrots from the entrance (it surely worth the 2 $). The donkeys are so used with visitors that they almost developed strategies to stop the car and beg for a carrot! Feeding them was major fun for Eric, even though I was a bit uncomfortable (no to say scared!).
At the entrance in the sanctuary there are also turtles and iguanas. It’s great to see them up close, in their own environment.
Trip with the semi-submarine
Bonaire is well known as a top diving destination. But a child can’t enjoy underwater views until at least 11 years old, when they are allowed to start scuba diving lessons. For younger kids, but also for less adventurous adults that do not love water that much, the semi-submarine is a great option.
It features an underwater cabin with large observation windows and takes you for a one hour trip around Klein Bonaire reef. Like an underwater safari, we could spot various types of corals and fishes, in all colours. We even saw two turtles, as they are quite common in the area.
The semi-submarine goes several times per day, with small groups; you can book the trip online to be sure of the availability.
Bonaire Land Sailing Adventures
I have to admit I had no idea such a thing exists until I saw the strange vehicles in Bonaire. Invented about 20 years ago in New Zeeland, the Blokart is a combination between a cart and a ship. It features three wheels and a large sail, so you are practically sailing on land! Beware, it has no breaks! Really easy to learn, it is a unique adventure, affordable and full of adrenaline. You can hire a few individual carts and organise a race or, for young kids, a they also have the shadow cart option. Located on the northern side of the island, it is recommended you book your adventure ahead.
Boat-trip in mangrove area
If you have an older kid you might even try kayaking, but that would have been too much for a restless 2-year old. Instead, you can chose a one hour solar boat tour, where you can relax a bit and enjoy the natural scenery. Beware, there can be mosquitos in the mangrove area; it depends a lot on the season and weather. The best is to check at the info center, but be prepared with some mosquito remedies anyway.
The tour takes you through the Lac Bay mangrove forest, in a maze of channels and natural tree tunnels. The area features three species of mangrove trees and several sea grass beds, all of them vital for the fragile ecosystem, a real nursery for all kind of marine life.
Playing hide and seek at the slave huts
Hundreds of years ago, Bonaire was highly involved into slavery, like most of the Caribbean region, being right on the slave trading route. The tiny houses on Bonaire south-western shore hosted the slaves working in the salt extraction. They are still kept here as a reminder of this dark past. Young kids can’t be impressed by the history of the place, but will be delighted to hide in or around the small buildings. Eric loves this area and sometimes asks “let’s go to some little houses!”. Right on the sea shore, this spot offers magnificent sunset views!
Explore Kralendjik and walk on the shore
Bonaire capital, Kralendjik is small enough for a child not the get bored or tired. Get an icecream from Luciano’s and take a walk on the boardwalk at sunset to admire the clear blue sea and the boats docked here. Life can’t get easier than that!
As you can see, there are enough things to keep a child busy and to diversify the family’s daily routine if you decide to visit Bonaire with kids.
Do you plan visiting Bonaire with kids?
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